in praise of the fever dream

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—NOTE: As with every word in this blog this reflects my personal experience only, and is in no way meant to judge others, treat illness, or sell you crap.—

After a hot hot hot spruce bath and some linden/elderflower infusion I find myself in bed, floating through worlds, my bones burning and my mind drfiting up and up. Alternating between hot and cold with one sock halfway off I am dreaming and tossing about, waking occasionally to feebly reach for water or a lymphatic tincture.
It’s a fever dream, and I’m giving my body space to heal itself. After getting the un-fabulous advice, at a party, that “sudafed and benadryl are good for sinus infections” I find myself musing on what we—mothers, healers, our culture–have given up. If we pop a sudafed-tm-every time we fall ill we are denying ourselves the opportunity to build our OWN knowledge about the human body. This fever is giving me information about myself. It is giving me words and phrases, showing me my fears and my strengths.
I believe that it is part of life to fall ill, to feel our blood ice up and our brain catch fire. How else can we know what is possible? How can sudafed teach us what healing means?
And every time I hear folks ask me what they can do to avoid illness I tell them that illness is an opportunity. Some of my favorite healers are seekers who see illness as a learning experience. Our wisdom is hard-won and comes from hands-on experience which sometimes gets messy. Illness teaches us how to support healing, how to get out of the way of healing, and puts the knowledge and the feeling into our own hands, puts the power into us. Popping wal-mart echinacea pills every day is a suppressive technique. Taking unnecessary medications (natural or pharmaceutical) to suppress symptoms is not “healing”.
I find my best healing comes from movement. Moving the lymphatics, moving mucous, moving stuck energy, activating digestion. Allowing the fever to do its’ job inside of us.
Because all of life is a learning opportunity. Hot weather is an opportunity to feel hot. Cold weather is an opportunity to feel cold. Discomfort is a gift which gives us the chance to learn what tools we have, as humans, to help ourselves and to support our bodies’ natural processes. We are so eager to dry humidity and make ice less slippery that we never understand what humidity feels like, or what slippery really means. We do not KNOW hot or cold. We do not SEEK to know.
The way that we are giving our own power away harms us, and our children too. It rewards people and corporations who will give us comfort at any cost. Those who can learn to accept some basic discomfort as a normal part of life will be prepared for whatever may happen. Allowing our children to feel a fever’s heat and chills is a gift which teaches them not to fear their bodies.
It is my wish to ride my fever like a surfer, accepting the fear, facing the mortality of my body. Because more so than those without fear, it is those who feel the fear then do it anyway who build power and wisdom. Neither sudafed nor benadryl will give a speck of wisdom or empowerment to us, and they will never teach us about our bodies capacity to heal itself.

NOTE: this was scriblled on my bedsite notebook during a fever. if that is what YOU consider “medical advice”, fine. however, it should be clear that i do NOT intend this to be medical advice!!!!!!!!

2 thoughts on “in praise of the fever dream

  1. NICE nice article! Loving it, sharing it. Have felt the same many a time and would throw out aspirins adults gave me when I was young. Had an innate distrust for numbing physical sensations.

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